There is one story in America politics that is flying under the radar, but could change America forever.
It’s the corruption trial of New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez.
Menendez’s trial begins shortly and the New Jersey Democrat is staring at jail time.
Menendez was arrested on 12 counts of doing government favors for a Florida eye doctor who was a donor.
He accepted undisclosed gifts and flights on a private jet in exchange for allegedly doing political favors for Salomon Melgen.
He was indicted in 2015 and the Washington Post reported on the charges:
“The indictment, overseen by the Justice Department’s public-integrity unit in Washington, was approved by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and other top officials in the department. The 68-page charging document alleges a litany of previously undisclosed gifts that Menendez is alleged to have received and provided more details on the alleged favors that the senator’s office provided Melgen. Prosecutors also allege that Menendez helped three of Melgen’s foreign-born girlfriends obtain visas to visit the United States.
The gifts to Menendez included 19 free rides on private jets to resort locations, often with guests of the senator aboard; long weekends to visit Melgen in West Palm Beach, Fla., or his villa in an exclusive Dominican resort; and campaign donations, including $600,000 to a super PAC that spent heavily on the senator’s behalf during his 2012 reelection campaign.”
Investigators began digging into Menendez in 2012 when an anonymous source claimed Menendez was allegedly spending time with underage prostitutes when he would vacation with Melgen in the Dominican Republic.
Those allegations proved to be false, but in the course of digging into Menendez’s relationship with Melgen, investigators discovered financial and reporting irregularities.
That led to Menendez’s eventual indictment.
Now jury selection has begun and the trial will start in September.
If Menendez is convicted and sent to prison, it could have an unbelievable impact on American politics.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie – a Republican and Trump supporter – would name a successor.
Christie would appoint a Republican until a special election could be held.
That would give the GOP the one vote they need to repeal Obamacare.
The Senate’s repeal bill is still on the calendar.
That means it can be called up at any time.
If Menendez is convicted and whisked away to prison, it would force an open seat.
The GOP controls who would fill it in the short term and that gives them another opportunity to pass legislation repealing Obamacare.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this story.